Patisserie Lebon

sights / Architecture

Patisserie Lebon information

Istanbul , Turkey
Address
Street İstiklal Caddesi 360-362
Getting there
tram Karaköy, then funicular to Tünel
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Lonely Planet review

In Pera's heyday, there was no more glamorous spot to see and be seen than Patisserie Lebon. Its gorgeous art nouveau interior featured chandeliers, a decorative tiled floor and large tiled wall panels designed by Alexandre Vallaury, the architect of the Pera Palace Hotel . Though now sadly functioning as a fast-food joint, much of its interior has been retained.

The patisserie is one of the best-loved buildings in Beyoğlu, as much for its history as for its interior design. After decades as the Lebon, the business was taken over by Avedis Çakır in 1940 and renamed Patisserie Markiz. It continued to trade until the 1960s, when Pera's decline and a lack of customers led to its closure. Fortunately, closure didn't mean destruction – the building was boarded up and left just as it had been, fittings and all. In the 1970s, local artists and writers lobbied the authorities to have the patisserie and adjoining shopping arcade added to the country's register of historical buildings; this occurred in 1977, ensuring the entire building's preservation.

In late 2003 the magnificently restored patisserie re-opened to great acclaim. It had a short-lived and much-lamented second life as an upmarket patisserie, but has recently been reinvented as Yemek Kulübü, a cafe serving cheap coffee and food. Still, the glorious interior means that a stop here remains well worthwhile.